Sunday, August 29, 2010


I like a little bit of country
I sleep with small towns under starry skies on my mind
My hands like to find comfort and rest in the forgotten dirt of mountain trails
Seeing tumbleweed makes me feel as excited as a kid on Christmas morning
I grew up with rattlesnakes in my backyand and a wood joist, steel roofed barn bustling with cows, horses, and sheep dog down the street, four houses away
I was born in the desert with cactus and wandering scorpions
My father was born in a faraway place known for its jungles, tigers, and elephants
But somewhere in our photo album there's a picture I'll always remember of him wearing a plaid shirt, jeans, and a straw cowboy hat
My mom grew up across the street from the Hundred Acre Woods with forts, rope swings, and a lake she would go ice skating on in the winter
A long curly blonde haired woman who dared to hitchhike through Europe in her early twenties for a year where she made money by selling encyclopedias door to door for hours a day to pay for hostels and food
For now I call the city my home
Searchin' my soul
Enjoying the many lights and always looking for some dirt to run through my hands

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fictional Essay - Burried Treasure

I’ve been here at Capitola beach with Justin far too many times to remember. Our parents used to take us to the beach here when we were younger. They were old friends, so it turned out Justin and I would be too. Probably since I was eight, when I moved here to Santa Cruz from Colorado I’ve found my home here by the ocean.

I’m pretty much your guys’ guy when it comes down to it. I’ve played soccer since I could run and I’ve been playing guitar with my friends in an alternative rock band since the beginning of high school. I’m about to be a sophomore in college at Santa Clara University, where I’m studying political science and altogether it’s a pretty eclectic mix, sure. But life needs its variety. Or so I need it. In high school I dated a lot of girls. Never really stuck around with one for too long. The commitment scared me, I’ll admit. And I guess I just never really found the right girl.

Justin on the other hand, grew up with his mom and sister, where he seems to fit in great. Especially when it comes to making sure there’s always dinner on the table and helping them when they can’t decide what to wear. He took very much to the water in a more physical sense as well. He was probably a fish in another life. He’s been swimming since he could doggie paddle and broke the 500 yard freestyle record at our high school three times. However, it’s hard to get him to go out to places with my friends and me. First of all, because we mostly go to straight clubs, but also because he works himself to the bone swimming, going to school, and working. All, of course, behind taking care of his family. They don’t need as much help as he thinks they do. But ever since his father left his mom when he was five and she was pregnant with his younger sister, Julie, he’s taken on the role as the man of the house. Which is probably why he’s always been more mature than anyone else I know our age. That’s for sure.

Though we’re best friends now, we’ve definitely had our fair share of drama. But all that’s in the past. For now, at least.

My eyes glazed back to the ocean shore where Justin and I were sitting. We were just a couple yards away from the restless tides rolling in and out surprising birds that played on the renewing wet surface of the sand. Setting off to the west in front of us the disappearing sun was melting the blue sky of Santa Cruz with puddle shades of orange, red, pink, and purple. The still ocean calmed everything around it and rocked Justin and me into a tranquil conversation about past trips to the beach and what we wanted to accomplish the next school year. Mid conversation a tear peaked through my right eye and I tried laughing it off but the confidence wasn’t as sound. I don’t know why this happened exactly. I suppose just because there’s just a lot going through my head at the moment... Birds flocked overhead, some landing on the distant rock protruding from the water. Squawks minutely filled the air but were not as resonant as the constant waist high waves breaking one after the other.

Invigorating, the ocean breeze was the one part of this place that could only be experienced here in person. It was unmistakable and would always be my favorite part of coming here. Without this smell I don’t think I would know who I am. When I’m far away, I always know I’m getting closer to home when I can smell the salty air wafting more and more.

For a still moment, I could feel time being bent. I was eight years old and nineteen at the same time. I had everyone here with me, and yet only Justin. It’s strange how much I care for him. He’s my best friend yes, but there’s something different about how I feel toward him. Something very deep and powerful. He’s the most compassionate person I know. He’s honest to the core about who he is and doesn’t give a rat’s ass what anyone thinks about him but himself.. I feel like I could tell him anything. And though I wanted to tell him something I hadn’t told anyone, having not told anyone already, made me think I could still change this part of me that is tearing apart inside me bit by bit. I think Justin knows too… what I keep secret from everyone else. And he’s been waiting for me to share with him ever since he came out to me when he was sixteen and we were at this same beach. It was easier for him, though. He wasn’t playing soccer with most of his friends. Going to straight bars with them. Trying to play guitar in an alternative rock band and have a father who would rather him be dead than… But I’m not. It’s just something that I’m being paranoid about. I’m still getting to know myself. And so what if when every time I start to get serious with a girl I find myself backing away. It’s completely normal. Completely…

Justin could sense I was running things in my head again. He had been talking about the previous night when his mom was walking out of their home with toilet paper stuck to her purse. I was just nodding along trying to pay attention but I was stuck on this thing that was burning up inside of me, yearning to break free. But this was still something I didn’t want to do. I’m straight. That’s that. Simple.

“… Julie was laughing so hard she was starting to accumulate a mound of drool where she stood keeling over.”

“Sounds like you guys were having a good time.” I came out of my contemplative state.

“Theo, is something on your mind? I can’t help but notice you keeping very quiet to yourself tonight.”

“I’m fine. I just keep thinking about the game.”

“That was four days ago, wasn’t it?” Justin said.

“Yeah, I guess so.” I stumbled through my words.

“Theo,” Justin broke the very nonchalant pattern of our conversation. “I’ve been wanting to tell you something for a while now. I’ve thought about telling you and not telling you for a really long time. But my instinct is telling me this is something that I shouldn’t hide any longer.”

Justin paused for a second. He lifted his chin up from being tilted toward the sand and his words came up without murmur or fluctuation.

“I love you.”

I don’t know what he expected me to say. Maybe repeat what he just said to me or smile and say something similar. But my own self inflicted confusion caused me to pull back and I staggered hoarsely to say something back.

“Thanks,” I pulled out of nowhere

I actually began to feel wet drops slide down my face. I can’t understand why I was doing this. Everything in my life had just collided into one place and time and here I was standing still, waiting to wake up from it all.

“I don’t know what to say. I wish I could be more articulate right now. But you have to understand it’s not as easy for me to just be outgoing about who I am. I’m just not ready to change my whole life like this.”

“I understand,” Justin responded.

“Do you want to head back to the car now? I forgot my jacket and I should probably be heading home now anyway,” I jumbled together on the spot.

“Sure,” Justin managed to say.

We walked away from the darkened beach which we had arrived at so bright and full of color. Eventually we made it to the end of the beach where the cement steps raised us up to the street.

When stepping onto the pavement we emptied our shoes of the sand we'd collected. The beating of the soles was a nice interruption of the silence we had been keeping since what we had just said to each other near the water. I collected myself again and tried to push myself to say something more. All that occurred was the opening of my mouth. Nothing reverberated.

Silence continued to creep around us as we picked up our chests from leaning forward tying our shoes and repeated our fake interests in the surroundings on our way to the car. We began to approach the hill my car was parked on and the journey up seemed like a mountain. I just wanted to start the car and make it back home so I could be alone again and not have to deal with what I'd been putting off my whole life. I'm not gay. This mountain was beginning to wear on me, and the one thing that could help make this better, Justin, is the one person I'm ignoring right next to me.

By the time I reach the top of this hill, I will decide if I'll tell Justin how I really feel about him too.

We were almost there and I could begin to see my two door red ’99 Honda civic. The quiet was pressing on me and each step closer felt like my heart was being pushed harder by some force. Finally we were steps away from my car. Beneath a large oak tree with no other cars surrounding, because of it being so late, he walked to the passenger side of the car and I walked to the driver’s. He stood there waiting for me to unlock the car but I stopped.



I stared at him with the car between us and the way he looked so effortlessly beautiful I began to walk to the other side of the car where he stood. Eventually, only half a foot stood between us. Then everything that was holding me back seemed to disappear. My answer to what I’d been wondering was inches in front of me as though he had stopped the world around us for me to take my last step now.

Finally the car ride home was behind us and we were back at my house where we sat on the porch in front of my home nestled in the beginning of the Santa Cruz Mountains flowing with brush, large rock formations, and spurts of trees where wildlife flourished especially now since it was summer. The porch light was on and Justin was in my arms and though it was very cold outside, I felt warm and comfortable finally, it seemed for the first time in my life.

About Woe

My photo
Words are our outright melody and no one else is going to play the songs you feel but yourself. Let me be more esoteric....just kidding. You may ask when reading my poetry, why do I use metaphors so often? After thinking that through, I honestly don't know why. My guess would be that language, though freeing, can also be restrictive. Especially in terms of expressing ourselves in attempt to understand ourselves. I, personally, get stuck in gears sometimes and I like to expand and break through traditional understanding of the concept at hand. I like to read what I'm feeling in different forms, and see if the language can lossen up more.